ISRAEL - 89% of Jews Don’t See Peace in 5779

Arno Froese

Amid reports that US President Donald Trump’s “ultimate deal” Middle East peace plan will be postponed until after midterm elections in the US and the next Israeli general election, a new poll found Jewish Israelis extremely pessimistic about chances for peace in the new Jewish year of 5779.

According to the monthly Peace Index poll of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, 89% of Israeli Jews see “the chances that in the year soon to begin there will be a positive breakthrough in Israel’s relations with the Palestinians” as low. The Arab public, too, shares this pessimistic perception but less so, with 71% responding that the chances of such a breakthrough are slim.

The poll found that the younger people are, the less likely they are to back a two-state solution, which was backed by 64% of those 55 and older, 47% of respondents aged 35-54, and only 32% by the 18-34 age group.

A majority of Israeli Jews opposed all the conditions that the Israeli government would presumably have to accept in order to reach an agreement, and a majority of Israeli Arabs supported all of them.

With the controversial Jewish Nation-State Law in the news, the Peace Index asked if “the Palestinians must recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people before peace talks with them can be revived.” A wide consensus (83%) of the Jewish public said yes, including 91% of right-wingers, 82% of centrists, and 59% of leftists. A majority of Arabs (72%) opposed the demand.

Close to two-thirds of the Jewish public (64%) said that from Israel’s standpoint, the year that is soon ending was moderately good or very good. On the Right and in the Center, a majority think so (71% and 65.5%). On the Left, 48% answered affirmatively. Half of the Arabs also think the year was a good one., 5 September 2018

Arno's commentary

We read in our Bibles the word “peace” 429 times. In general, peace means the absence of war or conflicts, but for Israel peace is much more. The general greeting among the public is not “Hi” or, “How are you?” but “Shalom” (peace). It is used to greet someone, to say welcome, and to say goodbye. Peace for the Jewish people in the land of Israel, is very precious primarily because of the vehement opposition of the Arab-Palestinians, and with them the entire Arab world. Actually, there is more; the Islamic world as well. Egypt and Jordan are the exception, but their relationship is not open and rather wobbly in most cases. A number of Islamic countries have trade relations with Israel, but in general they follow in the footsteps of the often-repeated rhetoric: Israel is a foreign identity in the heart of the Islamic world.

Thus, our question: will peace come? We believe there will be a temporary peace negotiated, which will end during the time called in the Bible, the Great Tribulation. But real peace will come when the last two verses of the book of Joel becomes a reality: “But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion” (Joel 3:20-21).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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